My name is Jessica Dennien. I am a wife, mother and engineer, a "mumgineer". I work with individuals and employers to provide insights on how balance can be achieved within the workplace whilst ensuring an efficient, engaged workforce.

A common concern heard among the STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts, Maths) community is the difficulty in getting girls and women engaged in STEAM subjects and pursuing STEAM careers. But a conversation not as often had is the difficulty retaining women in STEAM careers.

Retaining women in these careers can be difficult particularly when they decide to start a family. Balancing a demanding STEAM career with family life can be difficult when the male dominated system expects mothers to adapt to it rather than updating the system to allow flexibility and work with ALL parents who want to achieve a better work / life balance.

Losing this talent is not only detrimental to the women who lose engagement in the workforce, but also to businesses that experience significant talent loss. This should be concerning to employers who are experiencing these types of losses as they are losing an investment when talent and IP leave their business.

STEAM Vs STEM - Why the 'A' is so important

What is STEM?

“STEM” is a term that many people would be familiar with. I personally grew up with the term STEM throughout my schooling. For those that don’t know; STEM stands for Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics. STEM symbolizes an approach to science and related subjects focusing on critical thinking and analytical skills. 

What is STEAM?

Something that people might not be aware of is the term “STEAM”. STEAM adds an “A” which stands for Arts. Incorporating the arts into STEM education encourages creative thinking and applied arts into real situations.

Why is the 'A' so important?

Art is about discovering and creating. By adding the elements of art to STEM based thinking, it is believed that people can use both sides of their brain—analytical and creative— to become better thinkers.

Creative thinking and innovation is becoming more of a necessity as the world we live in becomes increasingly more complex. With a more complex world, comes more complex problems which require more creative "out of the box" solutions. 

By tapping into the creative side of the brain, future STEAM professionals will be able to expand their capabilities and increase their resilience in this ever-changing world.